How much CPU power is needed to decode 1080p video?

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by Barfo, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Barfo

    Barfo Lifer

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    I don't know if this should go here or in video.

    Anyway, I was wondering what's the minimum CPU you need to play 1080p bluray discs or mkv rips of them without dropping frames?
     
  2. Dadofamunky

    Dadofamunky Platinum Member

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    Yours is just fine.

    Minimum? Hard to say. But an e8400 by itself is probably much more than you need.
     
  3. rlim111

    rlim111 Member

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    Exactly, your e8400 is more than enough.
     
  4. Scholzpdx

    Scholzpdx Diamond Member

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    I'm pretty sure as of 6 months or so than an Athlon X2 @ 2ghz and a Core2 @1.8ghz was fast enough for 1080P playback.

    As long as you have a decent GPU (HD 3200, GF 8200, Intel 4500) 1080P has been shown to run fine on even the single core Atom platform.
     
  5. nismotigerwvu

    nismotigerwvu Golden Member

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    Exactly, you can get sub $30 add in cards if your IGP doesn't support hardware decode. As far as encryption goes, I believe the more recent versions of powerdvd have managed to get everything smooth even on single core atoms (with a hardware assist gpu of course). Also, you could avoid the encryption overhead by ripping the movie first.
     
  6. taltamir

    taltamir Lifer

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    i found BOTH AMD and nVidia cards (HD4850 and GTX260) to stutter when rendering a variety of files in 1080p... typically x264, AC3, MKC files using MPC-HC (which is the ONLY way right now to use acceleration in files). Most distinct of those was xmen, which stuttered a whole LOT. When I turned off the GPU acceleration and let my E8400 take over all stuttering disappeared (but my CPU usage did go up somewhat)
     
  7. yh125d

    yh125d Diamond Member

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    GPU acceleration worked fine for me with no stuttering on an 8600m GT, 9800gt, GTX260, and a 4890, so your issues were probably caused by something else


    Also, MPC-hc isn't the only program that can use hardware acceleration...
     
  8. drizek

    drizek Golden Member

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    mpchc works with older cards, like nvidia 7 series.

    Basically you want around a 2ghz single core to do it properly without using gpu acceleration. I don't think either amd or intel sell any consumer processors not capable of smooth playback. Encryption and DRM add a lot of overhead though. A 2ghz pentium m for example can playback 1080p WMVHD just fine, but the DRM protected videos stutter to death(ms has a page with examples of both on their website).

    I have played back 720p xvid avis on my single core atom without gpu acceleration and it worked perfectly. mkvs were impossible though, although I think CoreAVC can do it.
     
  9. taltamir

    taltamir Lifer

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    show me one other program that can accelerate an x264 MKV file. Also, it worked fine for some files, and it worked fine for 720p and most 1080 files. it is only some 1080p x264 files that had issues (during action packed scenes), I know what I am doing here.
     
  10. MODEL3

    MODEL3 Senior member

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    Your CPU is fine.

    For 1080p BD you will need a core 6420 (2.13GHz) or a 4600 (2.4GHz) and for AMD a 5600+ (2.9GHz).

    Propably You can do your job with a 6320 (1.86GHz) and for AMD a 5000+ (2.6GHz) but in some movies you will see dropped frames.

    Since the next versions of BD playback programs will need a little bit more CPU power than today (also when BD H264 encoding matures more it will need a little bit more CPU power) maybe you are better with the higher specs.
     
  11. tokie

    tokie Golden Member

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    I watch 1080p mkv files fine with no dropped frames on an original Core Duo 1.83 (no GPU acceleration). So thats around a ~1.5 Core 2 Duo?
     
  12. soccerballtux

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    VLC for one, Windows Media Player for another...
     
  13. yh125d

    yh125d Diamond Member

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    Don't forget PowerDVD!


    Talt, I have a large library of blu ray rips that I watch frequently and have never had a problem with stuttering in any of them, not even the action ones (shoot em up, 3:10 to yuma, the dark knight, etc)

    Do you remember which videos stuttered?
     
  14. wlee15

    wlee15 Senior member

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    Not true

    "Unfortunately the MPC-HC decoder only supports the "bitstream mode" at this stage, which means that only the most recent graphic cards are supported :
    nVidia series 8(9)xxx for H.264 only
    ATI Radeon HD series for H.264 and VC-1 decoding"

    http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/DXVASupport.html

     
  15. Modelworks

    Modelworks Lifer

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    Not a well known player but KM player can accelerate any file.
    It even supports a feature called video output queue that will render frames ahead of time and queue them before display. It make additional threads so that it can use multiple cores to render frames ahead of time.

    It also lets you change aspect, zoom the video in and out, apply filters like sharpen with unsharp mask, chroma balance, brightness control, etc all while the video is playing.

    I'm using it now with a mce remote in place of xbmc which I like a lot. The problem is it wouldn't let me scale the picture like I wanted for display with some files. with KMP I can display it full screen then press the up and down buttons on the remote to scale the whole picture in and out, even with 1080p files.
    http://kmplayer.en.softonic.com/

    It also displays on a second window without the hassle I had with xbmc not wanting to display on a 2nd output and allow me to work on the first.
     
  16. drizek

    drizek Golden Member

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    Sorry, I was thinking of this http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=147238 . I haven't tried it yet, but apparently it will work for the 7 series cards.
     
  17. lopri

    lopri Elite Member

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  18. reallyscrued

    reallyscrued Platinum Member

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    I used CoreAVC on a 2.8 Ghz Pentium single core, (forgot the code name) and it played back butter smooth. Onboard GMA 915 video btw. Brute CPU/GPU strength is one way to go, but look into optimized codecs as well.
     
  19. Modelworks

    Modelworks Lifer

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    You could render the video out to a null video renderer and measure the cpu load. That completely bypasses the video card, sending the output data from the codec into the trash rather than displaying.


    edit:

    I just tried using a null video renderer with KMP.
    Source was only 720P.

    I set it to use only 1 cpu core on a Q600.
    Nothing else running on the pc.
    One core null video renderer 20%
    One core Video Media Renderer 60%

     
  20. calyco

    calyco Senior member

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    Thats odd, I had a Pentium M 1.86 which I think is equivalent to a P4 3.0ghz (and an X700). Using CoreAVC 1080P mkv would barely playback..*sometimes*. The video stutters once in a while but most of the time the audio and video would just go out of sync after a few minutes.
     
  21. kkk60091

    kkk60091 Member

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    as far as i remember, kmp itself does not decode in dxva. it just uses powerdvd h264 decoder... any 3rd party player that has the ability to load external filter can do it. such as mpc-hc.
    Potplayer by KMP's original author does seem have its own dxva decoder.

    mpc-hc has its own internal h264 decoder, which is enabled by default. this internal h264 decoder only works in dxva under bit-stream mode. therefore, only ati hd series and nv 8/9/200 series (excluding hd2900, first gen 8000 gtx, gtx, ultra) are supported here. you can also find standalone version of this mpc-hc internal h264 decoder. you can load it up in any 3rd party player that support external filter....

    however, since mpc-hc can load third-party filter, you can use those old video card in partial dxva mode with the help of powerdvd h264 decoder.

    in term of ability to decode h264 in dxva mode, nv is a much better choice than ati.
    ati stops around L4.1 ref 4 or 5 for 1080p.
    nv can max to L5.1 ref 16.

    Note 1: there are reports that indicate OS -XP limits to ref 13 or 14.
    Vista/7 under evr-custom output should be able to reach ref 16 with the help of mpc-hc internal decoder.

    Note 2: many encoding setting in certain combination would break dxva.

    Note 3: external subtitle filter, such as vobsub/vsfilter will break dxva.


    Nv does have another advantage with cuda.
    with cuda enabled coreavc, you can generally achieve same kind of offloading effect without losing the ability to use external subtitle engine.
     
  22. goog40

    goog40 Diamond Member

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    On my laptop (Pentium T2080, 1.73 GHz dual core, integrated Intel video), it would stutter on 1080p video encoded with x264, but with CoreAVC installed it would run with no problems (CPU utilization around 50-60% on both cores).
     
  23. nismotigerwvu

    nismotigerwvu Golden Member

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    You might want to look more into that one. I've never had any issue. It might be that the files you were playing were not in spec and thus couldn't use the decode engine in the cards.
     
  24. Modelworks

    Modelworks Lifer

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    The way my output looks with kmp is :

    With those settings cpu usage is about 10% on a quad core. Q6600. I can't use DXVA with this card as it isn't supported. nvidia G80 core.
    I tried coreAVC and it was actually slower using up to 25% cpu .

    Still I am happy with the way it plays.


     
  25. kkk60091

    kkk60091 Member

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    those G80 can't do bit-stream. you should still be able to get parital dxva if you load powerdvd 7/8 decoder.

    for the coreavc, if you are using the most recent one, you should still be able to use cuda. if it doesn't work, it probably is not well supported yet by coreavc.